The ability to manage conflict is a critical skill in the 21st Century workplace. The most agile and effective organisations have recognised that it needs to be regarded as a core competency for all people managers at every level within an organisation.
In addition to mediation and training, we offer a consultation service to look at conflict management broadly across an organisation and to make evaluations and recommendations as to how conflict could be managed more effectively and to capitalise upon the more positive aspects of conflict while reducing the less desirable ones.
A conflict audit provides an analysis of the cost of conflict to an organisation. Conflict can take many forms from apparently trivial but massively disruptive passive-aggressive behaviour right through to acts of physical violence. It can be manifested by grievances or tribunal claims, but will also be reflected in productivity and employee retention rates.
There are obvious direct costs of conflict such as legal fees, but there are also many indirect and hidden costs, such as management and HR time, absenteeism, increased recruitment costs because of high staff turnover, decreased productivity and many more.
Measuring and monitoring the costs of the direct, indirect and hidden costs of conflict can provide very useful data to demonstrate the added value of human resources interventions such as training and performance management.
The ability to analyse and measure the cost of conflict and the return on investment of time and money spent on improving conflict management will significantly improve the confidence in making those investment decisions.
Evaluation and recommendations:
After undertaking a mediation within an organisation or after undertaking a conflict audit we can offer a feedback and analysis service to help businesses to identify conflict management issues that may need to be addressed and we can make recommendations as to how that can be done. We can then assist them to take action or to develop strategies to avoid future conflict.
We can also help organisations to design and implement their own internal mediation procedures as well as provide training in conflict management.
One area in which the potential for significant workplace conflict is particularly prevalent is at times of change within an organisation. This may be as the result of mergers or acquisitions or downsizing or even as the result of restructuring. Individual relationships between employees or relationships between teams or between other components of the organisation’s structure can be significantly impacted by change.
We can help businesses to design and develop procedures for identifying and managing conflict that may arise during times of significant change. These procedures may be informal as well as formal and can replace or sit alongside traditional grievance and disciplinary procedures.
We can also provide support with encouraging key stakeholders such as trade unions and line managers to engage positively with change.